Fridge on battery while towing - Page 3 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 04-04-2015, 11:34 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Mike,
Why doesn't your tow vehicle alternator make up the difference?
Maybe this is not relevant.....but maybe it is.

Perhaps it's the same old issue of voltage drop by the time the alternator power makes it to the battery. If you measure the battery voltage while running the fridge on 12V and with the engine at 2000 rpm or whatever, I'm guessing the voltage at the battery is simply not enough to push enough charge into it.
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:51 PM   #22
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Jim, from what little experience I have with my flat mount 160W panel... On a sunny summer day I got 50Ah total, in the early fall I got roughly 40. From what I've been told, come winter you get about half that of summer.
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:54 PM   #23
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So 6 hours of good sun @ 8+ per hour. That 50 a/h should help the tow output. I'll verify mine next week when hooking up.
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Old 04-04-2015, 01:52 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
Perhaps it's the same old issue of voltage drop by the time the alternator power makes it to the battery. If you measure the battery voltage while running the fridge on 12V and with the engine at 2000 rpm or whatever, I'm guessing the voltage at the battery is simply not enough to push enough charge into it.
Absolutely, yes. At any engine speed, even with the regulator keeping the alternator output at 14.2 volts, with high enough current in the charge line and enough wiring resistance the voltage at the battery will be too low.
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Old 04-04-2015, 02:00 PM   #25
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I just looked at some numbers for fun. From what I read, desired alternator output is 14.2 volts. That's up front, near the tow vehicle battery. A 12V, 170 watt heating element in the fridge will pull 14 amps. For 40 ft of #10 wire, from the TV to the Escape battery, we get a drop of 1.12 volts to 13.08 volts (online calculator), all else being perfect. I don't know about the dynamics of battery charging, but if the tow vehicle requires 14.2 volts to keep its battery at 100%, the Escape battery is just not going to charge to full capacity....on the TV alternator alone. So the question is how much of this deficit can be made up with solar, which of course is what you guys are attempting to answer. I don't think we'll ever get enough solar on the roof for much of our travels, so I'm destined to use propane, I think.
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:40 PM   #26
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At this point (April 11) I can tell that my solar panels are charging my batteries noticeably faster than they did when I started my current trip in mid-March. I don't have any data to confirm that, but it is apparent. So just a small change in the angle of the sun seems to make a difference for flat, roof-mounted panels.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:01 PM   #27
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Hi: All... We've been towing from The Sunshine State using 12V. to run the fridge. The solar display usually shows 13.7 but pulls down to 12.3 by noon each day. So far the 6.7 Dometic has stayed below 44* if we limit our visits into it!!! Alf
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:48 PM   #28
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Hi Alf! What kind of outside temps during the day? It must be getting fairly warm by now. Did you end up moving your thermistor? I guess the theory is that with the thermistor in a warmer spot, the fridge will cool to a lower temp than your setting would normally ask for, when it's able to do that (when it's cooler outside or maybe overnight). The idea is that if you get the fridge cooler than normal, when you can, it will help carry it through the day when performance begins to suffer.
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:47 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
Hi Alf! What kind of outside temps during the day? It must be getting fairly warm by now. Did you end up moving your thermistor? I guess the theory is that with the thermistor in a warmer spot, the fridge will cool to a lower temp than your setting would normally ask for, when it's able to do that (when it's cooler outside or maybe overnight). The idea is that if you get the fridge cooler than normal, when you can, it will help carry it through the day when performance begins to suffer.
Hi: Parker...Upper 80's to 90* while towing I95 with windows and MaxxFan closed.
Yes I did move the thermistor about 1" below the fins. One night I put a soda can under the thermistor and the fridge was warmer next day!!!
I also found that if we used the MaxxFan on a warm night the fridge didn't recover as well next day. As I type it's 73* in the trailer, and 36.9 in the fridge set on 4 bars.
To add insult to injury my "Spend money soon" light on our truck keeps coming back on after replacement of two sensors... stays on for days then out for days. The fridge is a piece of cake in comparison!!! Alf
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Old 04-12-2015, 07:17 AM   #30
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Alf, Just put a piece of black tape over the signal light, like what we did years ago with the blinking vcr controls....
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